Review: Wanderlust Travelwide 4×5 by Marc Morel

Review: Wanderlust Travelwide 4×5 by Marc Morel

There was a great deal of excitement, several years ago, when two young Chicago designers proposed their design for a lightweight 4×5 travel camera, complete with a helical focus and custom spring back. After a very successful Kickstarter campaign, their project went through many design iterations, manufacturing obstacles, delays and growing impatience from the crowdfunding community – but the inventors persevered through it all. And so, finally, some 23 months after the original scheduled shipping date, my very own Travelwide camera arrived in the post.

I opened the parcel with glee, finding a helical assembly (for a customer-supplied 90mm lens), a pinhole board, a plastic ground glass, a wire frame finder, a 65mm lens mount (for those who ordered it), and the camera body itself with three cold shoe accessory mounts, holes through the narrow handgrips either side, and a very simple-but-clever spring back assembly held on by a number of screws.

I had been saving a nice old Schneider Angulon 90mm f/6.8 lens for just this project, and the clear instruction page made fitting and calibrating the 90mm lens to the helical mount really quite simple. I had also put aside a Russian Blik rangefinder, which I slid into one accessory shoe, and popped the supplied wire frame finder in the shoe next to it. Lastly, I threaded a strap through the handgrip on one side, and a lengthy cable release through the other. Et voilà! A camera set for adventure.




I’ve taken the Travelwide out-and-about quite a bit, shooting both handheld and on tripod, and with fast and slow films. The camera is very easy to wear around your neck without feeling weighed down. People accustomed to field and press cameras may miss the movements, but the focus, once calibrated, is very accurate. The supplied plastic ground glass (which I successfully used for the initial lens calibration) is handy in the field to quickly pop on and check a critical focus, although it isn’t effective enough for composition purposes. For that, you can use the wire frame finder, which takes some getting used to, but it is functional, and with a wide lens there is potential in the darkroom (or scanner) to crop out compositional errors later.

In summation, I’m glad Wanderlust stuck with this epic venture. What they have produced is a very feasible Large Format travel solution – super light and easy to carry, yet with all the advantages of the big piece of film.

Available directly from the Wanderlust website.



Next Post:
Previous Post:
This article was written by

Marc Morel is a hobbyist photographer based in Melbourne.

There are 3 comments for this article
  1. Hugh at 9:27 pm

    Hi Marc, wondering if you can help me. Saw the wanderlust camera back in 2013 when they did their kickstarter. Signed up for the email, but never received anything. I am really interested in buying one if they are still available. I don’t see anywhere on their website that allows for purchase of this unique camera. Any suggestions on how I can buy one????

    • Marc Morel at 5:29 am

      Hi Hugh,

      It looks like they ceased manufacture as soon as they fulfilled all their Kickstarter campaign commitments, which is a real shame. From time to time, they have appeared for sale on auction sites – but there are now some alternatives to consider too, with a number of similarly positioned 3D-printed cameras having appeared since.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.